The Great Recession officially ended five years ago, but that’s news for millions of Americans: A stunning 95 percent of income growth since the recovery started has gone to the superwealthy. If an average household currently earning $71,000 had enjoyed the same gains as the 1 percent since 2000, it would now make more than $83,000. And the widening income gap is not just about the 1 percent anymore: Take a closer look, and you’ll see that it’s really a tiny fraction—the 1 percent of the 1 percent—that hoovers up the lion’s share of the nation’s wealth. With Washington paralyzed on bread-and-butter issues and the midterms ahead, we put together a primer on the state of America’s frozen paychecks.


Trickle Up: Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty (Excel)

Whose Recovery?: Boom and recovery gains, 1% gains: Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty (Excel); average household income: Census Bureau

The Rich and the Megarich: World Top Incomes Database

Working More, Earning Less: Household income: Census Bureau; economic growth: St. Louis Fed; 1 percent: Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty (Excel); corporate profits: St. Louis Fed

X Marks the Spot: Historic income share: World Top Incomes Database; future trend: Thomas Piketty (PDF)

Back to the Future: Rome: Walter Scheidel and Steven J. Friesen; US in 1774 and 1860: Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson; US in 1929-2012: World Top Incomes Database

Race to the Bottom: Income by race: Census Bureau; wealth by race: Edward N. Wolff 

The Asset Crash: Edward N. Wolff 

Happy Returns: Tax rates: The Tax Foundation; top incomes: Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty (Excel)

It’s Not Easy…: Langone, Schwarzman, Perkins, Zell, Rodgers, Asness